Thursday, October 31, 2013

Who Knew You Couldn’t Iron THAT!

I wasn’t sure what to blog about today. My mind was blank.

Stop laughing.

And then…….

I did the ironing.

Mimi would tell you that when I was younger (read like 10 years old) I would stand in front of the ironing board and iron to my hearts content. Give me a pile of handkerchiefs that could be precision folded and ironed and I was your girl. Saturday afternoon ironing while watching the Sci Fi movie that was invariably on and I was so there. Day Of The Triffids + ironing = perfect Saturday.

Even in college I might have been known to iron my jeans. Yeah, that’s a Baylor thing I think. Heaven forbid if you stepped out of the dorm without full make up, hair done and jeans pressed.

But I digress.

And then I got married. And I married HHBL. And when we were first married and really for a whole bunch of years he wore a suit every day. And a nice, crisp shirt, heavy on the starch please. And I ended my affair with ironing. Ironing a shirt is a pain in my big fat bahookie. Now, thankfully, the cleaners take care of the dress shirts. I just cannot get them starched to within an inch of their lives so I leave that to the experts.

But I do iron all the more casual shirts. And today was ironing day. That means that my kitchen floor needs to be cleaned first and that I then drag all the ironing paraphernalia out from the laundry room and into the kitchen so that I have a bit more area to spread out in. My laundry room is rather small compared to the gigantic one that I had at OCK. But that isn’t really an issue when it is only HHBL and I…..and the dog.

I was ripping along with the ironing, basking in the quiet of the kitchen (more on that tomorrow in Quick Takes). I had finished all but one shirt and a couple of pair of pants.

Left sleeve done…..

Left front, back, right front done.

Right sleeve done…….



All of a sudden, as I lifted the shirt off of the ironing board I was assaulted with a most disgusting, acrid, pervasive, overpowering smell.

Did I tell you it was bad?

I know that the shirt was clean. I washed it yesterday and hung it up on the rolling rack in anticipation of ironing. And I was pretty sure that the smell had to have something to do with this particular shirt because, as I leaned closer to give a bit of a sniff I almost passed out with the disgusting miasma that burned my nose hairs.

And then I looked at my ironing board cover.

2013-10-31 12.25.56


I know my old ironing board cover pretty well after all these years. And that stain is new. Lean down a bit and sniff.

OH MOTHER MARY AND ALL THE SAINTS IN HEAVEN! But where did that stain come from?

So, I looked at the shirt. Nothing untoward there that I could see…..

What a minute. What is that little stain on the bottom edge of the right sleeve right along the seam? Was that there before? That is a weird place for a stain.

Lean down to sniff gingerly.


WHAT THE HECK! (I seem to be using a lot of CAPS. Sorry, it’s a CAPS kind of story)

So I turned the sleeve inside out very gently……..

2013-10-31 12.19.31-1

I evidently had been unaware that there was a stink bug who had gleefully crawled into the interior of the sleeve sometime between yesterday afternoon and today. I bet he thought that was going to be the PERFECT place to over winter.

Boy I bet my hot steam iron was a rude, and ultimately guts boiling, shock to him.

And now I need a new ironing board cover because, despite repeated scrubbing with various cleansers……

The smell remains.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

What Is With These BUGS!

You know, for the almost 13 years that I lived at OCK I didn’t feel like I was bombarded and under constant invasion by flying bugs. Oh sure, there were spiders.


And there were the occasional ants. Or perhaps something more unusual like a Walking Stick.

But for the most part it wasn’t all that bad. I was more crazed by the marauders from the woods deer and the occasional mouse who died in the depths of my basement.

We have only been here at Chez Knit for less than three months and already we have been under attack by Stink Bugs, one of which I found today…..and promptly sent into the sewer system.

And now!!!


They look like Lady Bugs but I can never tell because there is some other bug that LOOKS like a Lady Bug but isn’t.

Yesterday these things were no where in sight. And today, it looks like O’Hare airport on a Friday afternoon out there. They are literally in swarms, rising up from the grass and buzzing about and then landing on my windows and crawling all over.

Where did they all come from and why did they all decide that Wednesday, October 30th was the day to rise up and assault my house??

Gads! Bug invasion.


Monday, October 28, 2013

Alex and Mandi Get Hitched

HHBL and I have the privilege of participating in our church’s Pre-Marital Mentoring program. We are passionate about it because we ourselves had what I would term ABYSMAL pre-marital counseling.

Enough said.

We get to know our couples very well. We talk about and work through and work on a lot of things. We start out as strangers and end up as friends. And it is such a joy when we are invited to the actual nuptials. Like this past Saturday, where we spent the afternoon and evening celebrating with Alex and Mandi and family and friends.

Alex and Mandi were the first couple that we have had where we actually knew one of them before hand. Alex is the same age as Shoe Queen and went to school with her. AND poor Alex had HHBL and I as Sunday School teachers for a year, although he says he doesn’t remember that, which tells you how much impact we had.


Saturday was blustery and cloudy and chilly. It is the end of October after all. Just as we were about to leave Chez Knit to go to the church I made a fateful decision. I hate wearing coats, in fact I don’t even own a good coat. I am just going to get out of a car and go into a building so why should I wear a coat? And Saturday was no exception. I was going to wear my cute grey wool skirt, the ruffely no sleeve shirt and black sweater that I always wear to complete the ensemble. The perfect “weight” outfit for an indoor ceremony and reception. But just before we left I decided to put on a long sleeve shirt and my new red WOOL sweater. AND I grabbed the Dwarrowdelf sole, which turned out to be a whopper of a good idea.


I was not the photographer here, and we were situated behind women with tall hair so you will just have to excuse the “framing” in the next few pictures.

This photo doesn’t do ANY justice to the absolute cuteness of the ring bearer.


OH my stars and garters! And when he processed out with the flower girl he walked up to her and stuck out his elbow so he could escort her back down the aisle. Every heart melted.


I am hoping the photographer got a great picture of the look on Alex’s face when the doors opened and Mandi walked in. This is right after he blinked, looked down, looked up, said “Wow” and smiled.


One of the great things about Alex and Mandi? The laughter. I knew that they couldn’t get through the ceremony without cracking up about something.


And I also knew that they wouldn’t be able to get through the ceremony without crying. You can’t see it but they are both crying during the vows. Thank goodness Mandi came prepared as she whipped an extra kleenex out of the top of her dress!!

IMG_5265_aThe Kiss

Mr. and Mrs. Alex Earnhardt!

And they were laughing as they walked down the aisle.


You know the wedding and reception is going to be fun when all the groomsmen are wearing brightly colored Converse tennis shoes.

We milled around for a bit. Talked to Alex’s parents, who are acquaintances of ours. Stopped at Panera for a smoothie to kill some time. And then drove to the venue for the reception.

And that is when my choice of a WOOL sweater to go with my WOOL skirt and an ALPACA (equals really warm) wrap the size of Texas proved to be a brilliant thing. You see, the reception was held at this awesome place called The Conrad Botzum Farmstead. I love this place. An old barn, in a field, surrounded by woods. But……

The temperature outside when we arrived was 48F. And the barn doors were open, and stayed open. And the walls of the barn were not what you would call well insulated. They were not insulated at all. They had big gaps.


This woman was the most sensibly dressed of all of us. She was prepared to trek the Arctic. We were not.


Thank goodness for a number of these scattered around the interior. We would stand around, get warmed up, go back to the table, talk til we shivered and then go back to the heaters. It was cold enough that when we got to the head of the buffet line and found that the plates had just been brought out and were still warm from the washer, I thought seriously about just sticking one down inside my shirt. No one would have noticed right?

I must admit that not all of me was cold. The areas covered by wool, neck to knees, remained at a reasonable temperature. And when I was sitting I was actually able to drape the Dwarrowdelf down over my legs. But nothing could save my poor feet in their little flats with no wool anywhere in sight.

Arrogant Bastard!

Thank GOODNESS there was plenty of Arrogant Bastard Ale to fuel me. This stuff is seriously one of my favorites.


But, despite the less than optimal temperatures (my toes didn’t thaw out until Sunday) we had an absolutely marvelous time celebrating with Alex and Mandi. Food was great, our table mates were talkative and hilarious. We saw old friends.

A wonderful evening to celebrate with a wonderful couple.

I mean, how could I NOT love Mandi. She taught me what to do with my curls.

Friday, October 25, 2013

7 Quick Takes (Vol 234)


Oh how the days do fly. Did you know that there are only 60 days until Christmas? I am trying not to panic.

You know what to do. When you are done calming yourself with the weekly dose of blather snippets you need to click on the picture above to be whisked, at the speed of the snow that isn’t falling at my house, over to Clan Donaldson, who is hosting this week.

Anything that is worth blathering about is worth blathering about badly.

I know it may not be a big deal but I finally signed up for iTunes Match. I just got very tired of having to constantly switch out what music I was listening to on the iPhone.

Now I can listen to ALL the music.

Or at least I can once I figure out all the Match nuances. HHBL uses it all the time and loves it. I was just a bit slower to the game on this one. But now I can listen to my heat’s content.

That is when I finally get caught up with all the podcasts, of which there are almost too many. But I don’t want to delete any of them because I love all of them. I just have to be more proactive about being caught up with them. If I don’t then there comes a day when I find I have 30 podcast episodes to listen to and that just seems overwhelming.

I think, long ago, that I mentioned that for podcast listening I don’t use iTunes, I used Downcast. A much better podcast experience then using iTunes.

The Frozen Northeast Ohio had it’s first “snow event” of the Winter season yesterday.

And we did not get a single flake.

Oh that was so lovely. And continues to be lovely because certain areas continue to get slammed…….

But not us.

LaurenLeap, I am so sorry to revel in your pain.


I have participated in more yarn rescue this week.

I took a swing over to the Volunteers of America thrift store that is about a 20 minute drive from Chez Knit. It happens to be right in the same area as the venue for the reception for this lovely couple.

C-G Hinkley Lake 1_bw

I was wandering down the sweater aisle and there it was. A red sweater. A red CASHMERE sweater. This sweater had no holes, no stains, no rips. It was in fabulous condition but a bit to small for the ta tas (TMI?). But just because it was a small size didn’t mean that I wasn’t going to buy it. It was $5!! Re-use and Re-purpose are two of my favorite words.

Then yarn spoke to me, there at the VOA, and told me that it wanted to be something else.

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And so, while watching I, Claudius on YouTube, I frogged the sweater. That may sound easy and painless but it wasn’t. A commercially made sweater is a puzzle that needs careful consideration and working. And sometimes they cannot be frogged successfully or the frustration factor is so high that you just throw up your hands in disgust and chuck the whole thing.

But not this time.

Well, there was one whole section that I had to throw away. The button holes for the sweater had been added directly to the sweater front and had cut the yarn in that panel so that if I had successfully frogged it I would have been left with many small sections of yarn.

But all the rest was frogged and now I have 1000+ yards of what I judge to be DK weight cashmere yarn that is just dying to be a wrap. I haven’t determined the yarn weight yet but I am a pretty good eyeball judge for this. But I will take the time later on today to make sure.

And then I will cast on.

The frig is still waiting to be repaired. We now know that it is the compressor which is making that gosh awful noise. When the repair person said that word, compressor, I silently thanked my lucky stars that we have a one year Home Warranty. Compressor = $600+ repair. BUT we only had to cover the $75 service call.

Actually because the repair cost is so high they offered to give us the money to put towards a new frig. I did think about doing that but then decided that, despite the fact that I do not love this little frig that came with Chez Knit, I wanted it fixed. The frig itself is in good shape other than the compressor and not that old. Eventually I think we will re-do part of the kitchen and at that time I will get a new and larger frig. At the moment a larger frig will not fit in that space. There needs to be a bit of “demolition” of a poorly placed wine rack before anything larger can be put there. And really, I didn’t want to have to go out and get another refrigerator at the moment.

So they are ordering the part and hopefully the thing will be fixed next week by Bill, my favorite repairman.

The thing is so loud at the moment that I retreated to the bedroom last night to watch the World Series. I couldn’t hear the game.

Can I say that sometimes I love YouTube. I mentioned in #3 that I had been watching I, Claudius while frogging yarn.

I watched this series in 1976 when I think it was shown on PBS. That must have been where I saw it because I know that in 1976 I didn’t have any clue what “cable” was so our choice of channels to view would have been limited.

And I am SURE that I haven’t seen it since then but I remembered it. Oh I remembered it. And I loved it. But I was frustrated because I couldn’t get it through the library and Netflix doesn’t stream it for some reason, or didn’t last time I checked. Oh I could get the DVDs through Netflix but it is annoying to have to wait for each DVD so that you can continue.

And then someone somewhere mentioned that I could see all the episodes on YouTube.


Yup, there they all are, in all their Roman orgy glory. And so I watched the whole 12 episode series this week.

There are a TON of actors in there who have gone on to do other things. I kept saying, “Hey! That’s…….”. There was Patrick Stewart WITH HAIR, long before his days as Jean Luc Picard. Then there was John Hurt, three years before that nasty alien burst out of his chest. John Rhys-Davies made an appearance as a less than ethical Roman guard, no Sallah or Gimli in sight. The list is too long to put here so you are just going to have to go over to YouTube and watch it for yourselves.

Oh I loved this series.

I have decided that one of the few things that I dislike about Chez Knit is the whole having to walk the dog thing in the cold…or the rain.

I know that walking your dog is the norm for most owners. But I was lazy for 12 years. Max the Magnificent needed to go out? I opened the garage door or the sliding door and just let him out to roam the yard. When he was ready to return he barked and I let him in.

But not anymore.

In the morning I have to make sure that I have “the poop receptacle” (plastic bag, free of holes) in my pocket along with my flashlight. Then I have to make sure that I have a coat and hat on as well as the fingerless gloves.

Is there anything more ridiculous than standing on the sidewalk, trying desperately not to look, while your dog does a “dukey” on the grass? I mean really, you don’t want to stand there and stare while the chocolate drops from the maker do you? So you stand and stare at the house to see if anyone is up. Or you whistle aimlessly and look at the woods. Then you get out the flashlight to ascertain where the offending pile is and do the cleanup.

Come January this is going to be very unpleasant.

Well all except for the momentary warmth of the log as you pick it up.

Well, I have started down the path to changing wall colors. Just the first step mind you but a start.

We have a Sherwin Williams paint store a literal 5 minute walk from Chez Knit. So I stopped there this week to just look at picking up a paint swatch or two.

And walked out with an armload of booklets and swatches. Almost overwhelming folks! I spent 12 years with off white or “biscuit” colored walls. I am not one to paint walls as the whim takes me. And at OCK I didn’t paint any walls, I had someone else come in and do that for me. There were some very tall walls there.

Also in the Chez Knit before OCK all the walls were wallpapered.

Yes, I know, that was my fault. I put all of that stuff up. It was in the ‘90’s and I didn’t know what I was doing. Well I did know. I am a good and fastidious wallpaper hanger. When the progeny were taking their nap I wallpapered. But that is a story for another time.

I haven’t painted my own walls for MANY YEARS so that may explain why it is such a daunting task for me. I think I am going to be starting with the half bath which is small and contained.

Now to decide if the walls should be red or a deep cocoa color.

Decision, decisions.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Terrible Christmas Sweater Tuesday

Don’t say I didn’t warn you.



Ladies #1A

Thank goodness I now know how to knit my own sweaters.

P.S. And I am going to own that the green sweater in the above picture was one of my FAVORITES.

P.P.S Oh, and I still own the sweater in the bottom picture.

P.P.P.S The bottom picture was also the year that I started growing my hair out. Therefore I looked like a crazed poodle for months on end. Good times.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Nature Bustin’ Out All Over

I know that I complain about the Frozen Northeast Ohio, that place in which I have resided for low these 28 years.

And in January there really is something to complain about.

But just now…..well, Fall has been really rather nice. There have been some chilly days. There has been some rain. But over all we have enjoyed lovely weather, blue skies, sun.

It makes me nervous.

HHBL and I are trying to take advantage of the fact that we live in one of the BEST places in the country, in my humble opinion, for getting out and enjoying “nature”. We have been taking the time to soak up the sun and the beauty before Mother Nature whacks us upside the head with snow and cold and gloom.

Here at Chez Knit we sort of sit at the confluence of three separate, and fabulous, park systems that offer us a basket/bucket/boat load of recreational opportunities. There is the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, an entrance of which sits a mere 10 minute drive from the house. Then there is the Cleveland Metroparks system, otherwise known as the “Emerald Necklace, an entrance of which sits a mere 5 minute drive (or 15 minute walk) from Chez Knit. And finally there is the Summit County Bike and Hike, also within easy distance. We are over abundantly blessed.

Yesterday was one of those days where we couldn’t miss the opportunity to spend some time on the Tow Path, which is part of the National Park system, which was closed during the shut down….but everyone just went around the barrier.


You can pick up the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad here at the park. Good to know for the next time that HHBL gets me to take one of those 25 mile bike rides. Ride down to Akron, take the train back, put the bike in the car, go home and die.


My bridge photography was sadly lacking and boring yesterday. Needs work. Needs better light. I am yawning just looking at these.


Nothing like a bit of graffiti humor. I was hoping for something by Banksy but I had to settle for this.


It was a beautiful day for bikes. And the path was very busy with them. Some have bells to let you know they are approaching. Some people tell you. Some people just whiz by and scare the every loving daylights out of you.

And then there are the dogs. I could have just sat myself down on a park bench and taken photos for an hour and not seen two dogs that were a like. Big dogs. Small dogs. Old dogs. Puppies. Well trained dogs. And not well trained dogs.

And then there was Bernie.

Bernie the Bernard

His sweet owners didn’t think that it was possible to get him to sit still long enough to get a photo.

I love a challenge.

Just watch out for the drool.


There is the occasional fisherman on the banks of the river. Not sure what he would be catching AND I am not sure if he is allowed to keep it even if he did catch it.

I don’t understand fishing.

Fishing zen and I are not acquainted.

IMG_5235Uncooperative Snake

Snakes. Why did there have to be snakes. And believe me when I tell you that the picture of the snake skin doesn’t do justice to the size of the thing.

Are there anaconda’s in the Frozen Northeast Ohio?

Then there were the Wooly Bears.

Wooly 1Wooly 2

There were a whole heck of a lot of them, scurrying across the path. You would think that they don’t move that fast but you would be wrong. The folk lore goes that you can predict how severe the winter is going to be by the proportion of brown and black in the Wooly Bears strips. More brown, milder winter. More black, buy another snow shovel. I saw a range of stripe sizes so I am going to say that our winter weather will be just a schizophrenic as usual.

And finally, as we ended our 4+ mile walk, we heard the train comin’ round the bend.


I can’t understand why all those people down at the other end are looking at me in that funny way. Haven’t they ever seen a woman with a camera kneel down and take an off kilter picture of the side of a train before?

What is so odd about that?

The Road Less Traveled Not

I love living in a place where it is so easy to find the road less traveled.

Friday, October 18, 2013

7 Quick Takes (Vol 233)


Oh come what may, when Friday morning rolls around you know it’s time for your weekly blather prescription renewal. So when you are done here with your blather inoculation you need to click on the picture above to be whisked, at the speed of Congress spending us into oblivion, over to Conversion Diary to see what has been going on.

Fear not! For I have blathered.

I have discovered something fabulous here at Chez Knit. And it has only come to light because we have now turned the heat on. Well really there are two things, related, now that I think about it.

Chez Knit retains heat amazingly well. It may be because OCK had a boat load of heat leaking windows (50 to be exact) and Chez Knit has a great deal less windows…and much smaller walls. But whatever the reason we just turned on the heat for the season yesterday.

But the really great thing. My towel in the bathroom hangs over a heating vent. Oh my stars and garters! It is like having my own heated towel bar when I get out of the shower. Fabulous!

I seem to have added crochet to my pantheon of fiber arts. I didn’t think I ever would. Crochet is the orphan step child of the fiber world. It shouldn’t be but there it is.

Remember that I had been knitting “shawls” for the Hamlin Fistula Hospital in Addis Ababa in Ethiopia, accumulating a vast and ever expanding supply of acrylic yarn in the process. But they have an overabundance of shawls at the moment and have called a pause on sending anymore. So I had to find some other project to use all that acrylic.

Enter Project Linus.

But I wanted to change things up a bit so I started noodling around on Ravelry, looking at pattern ideas. And I found this blanket of many stripes…..and it was crochet.

And now I am obsessed with working on the thing. The zen of crochet is like the Borg. Resistance is futile.

Regarding #2, I haven’t been crochet monogamous by any means. I have been merrily knitting on a baby blanket for a “baby to be”. There are always the latest pair of socks to work on. And the ever continuing Tiny Mitered Square Blanket. I did manage to finish, or almost finish, the latest sweater. It is currently 99% dry and done blocking. I will weave in ends, sew on the grosgrain ribbon on the button band and sew on the buttons today. Most likely while watching episodes of I, Claudius which someone has so nicely posted on YouTube.

And that means that the sweater will be ready to wear tomorrow, when the cold spell shows up and the high is supposed to be 43F.

I love her, my Nemesis. The pattern just flew by! I am sure that there will be pictures next week. Because if there aren’t pictures taken and posted on Ravelry then the project isn’t really finished. Of course I am now contemplating my next sweater.

What to do. What to do.

Next week……..

The appliance repairman will be here.

And we know how I dread that. I always pray that it will actually be something worthwhile for him and not something idiotically easy.

You see, the frig is making a noise that is quite similar to a 767 taking off. The frig is working, thankfully, it just is SO LOUD WHEN THE COMPRESSOR IS ON that I cannot hear myself think. And it gives me a headache. And it actually wakes me up at night because I can hear it in our bedroom and I can FEEL the vibrations. The other day the dishwasher was on, I was doing a load of laundry and then the frig came on. It was so loud in there that I had to retreat to the basement to take a phone call.

Thank goodness for a home warranty. We are not ready to replace that basic little frig yet. Someday yes, but not right at the moment. But I do not want to be deaf when that time comes.

Wish me repairman luck!

I love thrift stores. I am always looking for vintage fabric or yarn and the occasional book. And I knew where all my fav stores were…..before I moved.

I went out scouting yesterday, list of stores in hand. And was very disappointed.

Two of the stores were no longer in existence as far as I could see. One was very small, not really thrift but consignment. And so the only store that was even marginally OK was the Goodwill. Where I did find some really cute, old kitchen curtain material with these beautiful roses printed on it. Perfect box bag material.

But I will just have to keep searching for thrift stores in my area. I know they are here somewhere.

I finished watching all the current Doc Martin episodes available on Netflix Streaming. And I am in total withdrawal. Oh what am I going to do?? I understand that the latest season has been showing in the UK. But you know that Season 6 won’t show up on Netflix of a gosh awful long time. And I am not willing to sign up for something called AcornTV (at $10/month) just to see what happens with Doc Martin and Louisa and the baby and all the crazy inhabitants of Portwein. Will Mrs. Tishell get over her obsession with Doc Martin? Will All Large ever get over his money woes?

What am I going to do???

Why is this show so obsessing???

I am just going to have to find some way to watch online.

OK, FINE! One more photo of my boyfriend so you all can be jealous.

P&G 1

We have a date this afternoon over Cheerios and juice.

He is such a charmer.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

An Uncooperative Yoda

I love taking photos of kids. If you have been hanging around here for even a bit of time then you are well aware of that. And this week my friend Heather, who happens to live only 7 short minutes from Chez Knit, asked if I would come and do a short photo shoot with her munchkins.

And when I say short…..I mean short.

Yoda was not cooperative.


Getting ready for our close ups. And in case you haven’t guessed….that is my boyfriend.

Who wouldn’t want a boyfriend who  is wearing Yoda ears.

P&G 4

Mom steps out. Awesome…..for about 5 seconds.

P&G 12P&G 13P&G 11

Excuse me. Could you take this please. I prefer not to wear it.

P&G 7

We managed it standing, although Yoda looks like he trying to Mind Meld mom.

P&G 14P&G 15P&G 16P&G 29

Then Yoda proceeds to walk off with Darth’s light saber, after Darth so kindly let Yoda look at it.

P&G 28

Darth felt that if Yoda was going to have the light saber then he might as well have the climate controlled hat as well.

P&G 33

Brotherly love? Or perhaps they still have issues to work out because of Star Wars Episode Three.

P&G internal 6

Yoda having his Greta Garbo moment….I vant to be alone!

P&G internal 7

And then he had to check out the sidewalk for a time.

P&G 21

But in the end Yoda and Darth decided to pose, ever so briefly.

P&G 17

OH be still my beating heart.